Websites have evolved over the years from being an outsourced marketing tool to the main way businesses interact and connect with their customers.
With this evolution in how businesses treat their digital assets, we have seen how cyber breaches have also shifted from prioritising vulnerabilities in our networks to those at the web application layer.
In today’s security landscape, any business with a digital footprint and an active online presence is not spared from the risks or the fallouts of various cybersecurity threats. What’s more, they’re not the only target; from governments to everyday individuals, cybercriminals spare no one and are only adapting to the sophisticated defences we’re coming up with.
The radical rise of cybercrime hasn’t even reached its zenith but the trends are visible to see. Today, we can make credible predictions about what we can expect in the future.
Emerging trends in the cyber threat landscape
The cybersecurity field, in general, will become all-encompassing in the coming years, and it won’t only be our devices, networks and data that require protection.
New legislation and guidelines will be necessary to even identify emerging cyberthreats as criminal activity. For example, with an ever-increasing online population, the ability of foreign governments, political parties, terrorist groups, activists, hate groups or even radicalists to influence public opinion will be greater than ever. How this affects our security is yet to be seen—what we do know is that we need to get ahead of it.
We must also consider how the democratisation of hacking and the availability of sophisticated cyber-attack tools will enable even low-level and non-traditional cybercriminals to hack small to medium-sized businesses.
It can be predicted that there will additionally be an escalation of threats from the developing world, with governments using cyber warfare as a means to establish themselves as global players.
In the future, a cyber breach will not be an isolated incident either. With IoT encompassing every aspect of the digital sphere and interconnectedness becoming a necessity, ‘smart’ hackers will falsify credentials to gain access to one device and take control of every device it is connected to.
Just as AI can prevent a cyber breach, it can also be used to launch one. As this tech finds its way into the mainstream, it will become harder than it is now to protect networks from intruders.
Which players will be at most risk?
Healthcare-related data and private payment data have always been key targets of cybercriminals. In the future, we can expect this trend to continue.
The availability of sophisticated hacking tools will create many problems for e-commerce cybersecurity as well, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Limited resources to purchase powerful cybersecurity systems will leave them vulnerable to the emerging threats of the future.
As many online businesses rely on SaaS or cloud-based services, e-commerce cybersecurity will need to make big leaps in a short time to address the many avenues vulnerable to a cyber breach.
In the past, malware only affected Windows systems, which was one reason for Apple users to celebrate a supposed immunity from viruses. As Apple became more mainstream, however, that was no longer true, and they too fell under the ire of malicious actors.
This can even be considered a premonition for cryptocurrency, with experts predicting that exploiting blockchain will become more achievable for cybercriminals in the future.
Are we ready for the cyber breaches of the future?
By observing how cyber breaches have evolved so far and analysing the direction of new technology, we can make a few assumptions as to what the cyber threats of the future might look like.
These predictions give us an idea of how our systems, business models, and processes need to evolve and become more proactive rather than reactive.
Considering how multi-faceted and sophisticated cyber threats are becoming, giant leaps will need to be made to create systems that keep our resources, data and teams safe.